New Z06’s Power Loss from Conservative ECU Continues to Spark Discussion

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Vette vs. Viper text

We certainly knew we weren’t done hearing about this one.

Any report that raises questions about the new Corvette Z06’s performance capabilities is bound to stir up a lot of conversation – especially when it involves losing to the Viper as we reported here.

Among die-hard American performance car fans, the Z06 vs. a fifth-gen Viper TA represents one of the biggest battles when it comes to street rivalries. I’m talking the King Kong vs. Godzilla of match-ups, Batman’s epic battle against Superman — the crème de la crème.

However, what’s becoming more interesting than the Z06’s 7-0 defeat to the Viper in a series of street races as first posted by Corvette Forum member NineBall, is the candid opinion of why the Z06 lost by Corvette Forum member Nspec, who participated in the race. Posted here, Nspec, who cites issues with the shifter in the Z06, acknowledges that he very well might not be the best when it comes to manual shifting.

“I just might suck at it. And every one (sic) else can drive way better than me,” says the member. But he states that he also owns a gen-five Viper, which he touts as being “perfect” when it comes to shifting.


Now, I haven’t been fortunate enough to drive the new Z06 or the Viper TA. Honestly, I doubt I’d be able to add much insight to this part of the debate even if I had driven the cars, considering my shifting skills are mediocre at best.

I will say this, though: most of Chevy’s promos about the new Z06’s shifting have been centered on the new eight-speed automatic transmission that the company says will shift faster than the dual-clutch Porsche PDK. So it does make you wonder if most of us would be better off leaving the shifting to the car when it comes to competing against a highly formidable contender like the Viper TA.

However, NSpec doesn’t seem to think that even improving the shifting will help the Z06 beat the Viper TA, noting that the Viper, “Pulled away in fourth gear every single time, and there was no catching it in fifth.”

Let’s take a quick look at some of the hard numbers.

Powered by the much-talked-about 650 horsepower new 6.2-liter supercharged aluminum LT4 V8 engine, we’re already pretty familiar with the numbers on the new Corvette ZO6. When equipped with that automatic transmission, the Z06 will crack 0-60 mph off the bat in 2.95 seconds.

The 2014 Viper TA is equipped with an 8.4-liter aluminum V10 pushing 645 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. When paired with a Tremec six-speed manual transmission, the TA has posted 0–60-mph times in the low three-second range.

With the addition of the more aerodynamic performance package on the TA Viper, I’d say the cars are fairly even here.


As Nspec indicated, the Viper TA is about 250 pounds lighter than the Z06, which some might argue gives the Dodge a slight advantage while Nspec doesn’t think it makes much of a difference.

There certainly is this to consider, though. Since owners have started taking delivery of the new Z06, there have been a few complaints about people losing power in the C7 after a few runs that some are attributing to heat soaking issues with the car’s supercharger. However, Vengeance Racing claims that “heat soak” issue is actually a conservative ECU.

Posting on the forum, Vengeance Racing said, “With the OE calibration we did experience [power loss]. The timing tables are EXTREMELY conservative and the ECU will pull timing for almost any situation. I am waiting for owners to complain about ‘tip in’ as the ECU pulls a massive amount of timing when slightly touching the gas pedal.”

Still, it all does beg the question: why didn’t Chevy ever release an official ring time for the C7 Z06 while touting it as the “most track-capable” ‘Vette ever? Could it very well be that while the Z06 is very impressive on paper, there are still a few kinks that need to be worked out when it comes to real-world performance?

Then again, maybe it’s just a matter that when it comes to raw speed, the Viper TA is just faster than the new Z06, which NSpec seems to articulate pretty well. But I still don’t think it takes anything away from the new Z06’s overall appeal, unless you plan to be racing Vipers all day.

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

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